History of the Event
Organizers Find a Way to Hold Annual Fishing Tournament
Hermantown, MN— For the first time in 25 years, the Kolar Toyota ALS Fishing Tournament did not gather on Island Lake to raise money to fight Lou Gehrig's Disease. This year, organizers found a way for anglers to drop their lines while staying safe during the current coronavirus pandemic.
"We are so happy with how many anglers joined us today," Blake Kolquist, chairperson of the tournament, said. "We may not have been together, but we were all united in the fight against ALS. And the fish that were caught today looked pretty good!"
Two hundred anglers were allowed to fish on any lake or river near their homes. Fish were measured and submitted using a mobile app called FishDonkey. This year organizers allowed anglers to catch and submit photos of walleye, bass, northern pike and crappie. Awards were presented virtually to the single longest fish in each of the four species.
Timmon Lund of Duluth reeled in the day’s longest walleye, busting the ruler at 30.5 inches to win the tournament’s walleye division. The longest bass, 20.75 inches, was caught by Hayden Anderson of Poplar, WI. New this year, the longest northern pike was hauled in by Jack Sannes, of Washburn, ND. The pike measured up at 40.0 inches. The longest crappie, 13.5 inches, was hooked by Marc Smith of Proctor.
All anglers participating in the event this year were eligible for a random prize drawing, valued at over $10,000. Marine General of Duluth was instrumental in the prize pool.
The 25th Annual Kolar Toyota ALS Fishing Tournament honored its Kevin Kolquist Most Valuable Participant. Gene Shaw has been a volunteer of the tournament for all 25 years. In fact, this year, he was the led the team of three in verifying all the fish. He and his team perused hundreds of photos of fish, determining our winners.
This year’s event managed to raise $175,000. Organizers are happy with the results. “So many other events were canceled or postponed. Individuals living with ALS don’t get a pass; they can’t wait for next year,” Kolquist added.
Over the tournament’s 25 years, the event has raised $3.5 million to fight Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Kolar Toyota became title sponsor of the event in 2007 and the dealership is actively involved with the year-round planning of the tournament.